learning lessons to practice lessons

The Lord wills that his disciples possess a tremendous power:
that his lowly servants accomplish in his name all that
he did when he was on earth.

St. Ambrose


(a pair of red shoulder hawks hanging out in the pine tops / Julie Cook / 2021)

“Some people who think themselves naturally gifted don’t want
to touch either philosophy or logic.
They don’t even want to learn natural science.
They demand bare faith alone—-
as if they wanted to harvest grapes right away without
putting any work into the vine.
We must prune, dig, trellis, and do all the other work.
I think you’ll agree the pruning knife, the pickaxe,
and the farmer’s tools are necessary for growing grapevines,
so that they will produce edible fruit.
And as in farming, so in medicine:
the one who has learned something is the one who has practiced
the various lessons, so that he can cultivate or heal.
And here, too, I say you’re truly educated if you bring everything
to bear on the truth.
Taking what’s useful from geometry, music, grammar, and
philosophy itself, you guard the Faith from assault.”

St. Clement of Alexandria, p. 13
An Excerpt From
A Year with the Church Fathers

God alone suffices

“Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you.
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.
Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

St. Teresa of Avila


(plouvers, Rosemary Beach, FL / Julie Cook / 2019)

“If you wish to explore the Holy Scripture, and you overcome your laziness
and apply yourself, thirsting for the knowledge, then every good thing will be yours.
You will fill your mind with the divine light.
Then, when you apply that light to the doctrines of the Church,
you will very easily recognize everything that is true and unadulterated,
and lay it up in the hidden treasures of your soul.”

St. Cyril of Alexandria, p. 167
An Excerpt From
A Year with the Church Fathers